Visiting Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park was really high on my bucket list. When I finally had the opportunity to go last month, I jumped at it.
Instead of flying to Salt Lake City and then driving to Moab (the closest city to the parks), me and my friend decided we would drive from Seattle. Salt Lake City is a 12½ hour drive from Seattle, but we split it up by stopping at my father’s along the way. The West is quite a beautiful place so I just assumed that the Mountain states would have their own beauty as well, the reason we decided to drive.
I have never been on a more boring drive in my life. I’ve driven all along the West Coast and over to Yellowstone in Montana, both of which are great drives (the Coastal drive along Highway 101 is considered one of the best drives in America). The drive to Salt Lake City was terrible. For 10 hours there was nothing to see. There are not even many cities along the way. The only sizable city is Boise, Idaho and it only has a little over 200,000 people. All the way from Eastern Washington to Salt Lake City it was hills and sage brush, and nothing else. Fortunately, the speed limit is 80 mph (130 kph), so I was going 90 mph (145 kph) the whole way.
Once we got to Salt Lake City we stayed with friends of my friend. Since they used to live in Seattle, I assumed they would be somewhat in line with my thinking. Uh, no. Utah is a crazy conservative state and it appears to infect people and ruin them. They guys thought they were interesting and cool, but really they just smoked pot constantly and were rather unpleasant to be around. Their drug habit was out of control and unlike Washington, pot is illegal in Utah.
In fact, most of the people in Salt Lake City were rude and unpleasant. And racist. One thing I have noticed, people who live in conservative states tend to be really unhappy and they take it out on everyone else. They think they are great, but they are so not.
After some stupid crap like explaining how crystals will heal me and then wanting to cook beans in the morning, we finally managed to start the drive to Moab. Moab is another 4 hours from Salt Lake City. By the time we actually got there, much of the day had been lost. The crazy friends finally ditched us (“We’ve seen the parks before—they’re okay but come get high with instead.”) and off they went. Not before they wanted us to drive them an hour out to the camp site. Hell no. They already wasted most of my day. I was going to see those parks if it killed me.
Finally we made it to Canyonlands first and discovered there was no fee because of National Parks Week. Yay! The next morning we were up early for Arches. I will post more about the parks next week, along with some photos. Both parks are rather small surprisingly, but they are packed with a lot of great sights. I did a little hiking, but in the interest of time we could only do so much. Moab itself was a nice little town too. Very touristy, but the people were nice unlike Salt Lake City.
In retrospect, I would not have driven and I would not have stayed in Salt Lake City. There is nothing there. I would have gotten down to Moab as quickly as humanly possible. I wish I could say I would never be in Utah again, but that would not be true. Utah is covered in stunning national parks and I want to see them so I will have to deal with those crazies once again at some point. When we left, we drove straight from Moab, through Salt Lake City without stopping, and spent the night in Boise, Idaho. I wanted as much distance between me and Salt Lake City as possible.
I will post photos next week.